The video above as posted on the Internet by Ohioans for Concealed Carry, a nonprofit organization that represents the interest of gun owners, raises concerns not only about the police officer's conduct in this unlawful arrest but also the notification requirement contained in Ohio's law. Ohio, like Indiana, has a law that permits gun owners to obtain a permit to carry a concealed firearm. Ohio's law requires a person stopped by a police officer to inform the police officer immediately if he is carrying a concealed weapon by permit. The video shows the police officer's reaction when, in my opinion, he falsely accused the driver of the car of failure to comply with the notification requirement.
A Canton, Ohio police officer's dash video captures two city police officers pulling up to a parked car with a driver and a passenger, who appear to be speaking to a woman. Naturally, the police officers suspect the woman of being a prostitute and the two men of being a john and a pimp looking to procure her services. One of the police officer's actions, in particular, crosses way over the bounds of lawful enforcement conduct. This officer orders the men in the car to remain there. The police officers order a young man in the rear of the vehicle to get out of the car where he is placed under arrest, handcuffed and searched. He is then interrogated about how he knows the driver and the woman. What the probable cause is for his arrest is your guess, but from the later discussion it is apparent the police officer believes the young African-American man was the woman's pimp. The officer falsely accuses him of providing him a false name.
The woman is then questioned about whether she is soliciting sex. She is asked if she is carrying a "shooter" to which she replies in the negative. The officer accuses her of being a prior offender, to which she responds that she had been arrested many years ago for solicitation on two occasions but was no longer working as a prostitute.
The officer questions the driver of the car last. The driver clearly made an effort to inform the officer he had a permit to carry a gun and had taken it out to show him, but the officer was simply not listening to him. The officer asks him how he knows the woman and then accuses him of lying when he gave a response he didn't like. When he tells him to step out of the car, he asked him why he keeps trying to hand him a piece of paper, to which he responds, "Because I have a conceal carry permit." He then asks him if he has a weapon on him to which he responds, "Yes." The officer then goes ballistic and starts cursing the man and accusing him of failing to notify him. He then tells the woman to "get lost" and "get the hell out of here."
Not surprisingly, the officer arrests the driver and tells him he's going to jail. "That shit you just pulled, I could blast you right in the mouth," the officer said. "You're going to get a felony on this." He repeatedly curses him. He threatens to cave in his head, calls him stupid and threatens to put a gun to his head. The officer becomes even more upset when a dispatcher can be overheard advising him that the driver of the vehicle has a conceal carry permit. He goes on a rant about letting "dicks" like this guy carry a gun. He keeps calling him a "lying bastard" when there is no evidence the man lied. "He's fucking going to jail," the officer says. The officer charged him with failure to inform and stopping in the roadway, both misdemeanor offenses but not before telling him he wished he had put 10 bullets in him and let him drop as soon as he learned he was carrying a gun. "And I wouldn't have lost any sleep," he added. He repeatedly accused him of trying to pick up a prostitute despite the man's insistence he knew her from when he used to drive a cab.
In the case of each of the driver, the other young man and the woman, they all cooperated and treated the police officers respectfully. The police officer, in turn, could not have been more abusive in his treatment of them, constantly cursing at them and calling them names. The officer told the driver he would basically stalk him and pull him over and have his car towed every time he saw his car on the street in the future.
The Hotair website reports that the Canton Police Department has suspended the police officer in question and started an internal investigation into the arrest. Based on his actions in the video, he is clearly unfit to serve as a police officer. Hotair also provided this statement from the Canton police department's chief:
I want to assure our citizens that the behavior, as demonstrated in this video, is wholly unacceptable and in complete contradiction to the professional standards we demand of our officers. As such, appropriate steps were placed in motion as dictated by our standards, policies and contractual obligations. Those steps included: The officer immediately being relieved of all duty. The incident has been referred to the Internal Affairs Bureau for what will be a complete and thorough investigation. As bad as the video indicates our officer’s actions were, there is a due process procedure to follow. That process is designed in the best interest of both our employees and the citizens at large. That process will be followed in this case as in all others. Anyone shown to be in violation of our rules and regulations will be help appropriately responsible as dictated by all the facts. ~Chief Dean McKimmOhioans for Concealed Carry have expressed concerns that the notification requirement in Ohio's conceal carry law raised First, Fourth and Fifth Amendment concerns. Indiana's conceal carry law found at IC 35-47-2 does not appear to have a similar notification requirement as provided in the Ohio law.
Update: This video uploaded to YouTube showing an Oceanside, California officer stopping a person to confirm he has a license to carry a concealed firearm is an excellent example of how a police officer should conduct himself when performing his duties.